Nathan Armstrong meets multiple Carifta Games qualifying standards
Nathan Armstrong’s indoor season gained further momentum after he achieved the Carifta Games qualifying standard in the boys under-20 800 metres at the Rutgers Invite in Staten Island, New York, at the weekend.
Competing at the New Balance Track & Field Centre at The Armory, the Rider University freshman finished tenth among a field of 46 athletes in a time of 1min 54.87sec, which was just within the Carifta qualifying standard of 1:55.
“This is my second time going to the Carifta Games,” Armstrong told The Royal Gazette. “Last year would’ve been my second time but it got cancelled [due to the pandemic]. I was excited last year especially because it was in Bermuda.
“This year I am really excited because it has been such a long time since I have represented Bermuda, and this will be my first time competing in the 800m at the Carifta Games.”
Armstrong has also reached the Carifta Games qualifying standard in the 1,500 metres, having achieved the feat competing in the men’s mile event at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University on January 30, despite having not fully recovered from a foot injury.
“I wasn’t able to run as fast as I really wanted to in the mile along with not really being that race sharp due to a foot injury developed during cross country,” Armstrong, who placed 96th among the 142-strong field in a time of 4min 26.43sec said.
“This injury led to me only competing in one cross country race in the Fall season. With everyone carrying over their fitness from cross country, my slow start gave me time to heal and learn my body.”
He added: “When I qualified for Carifta in the mile, I was not really happy with it because I know I can run much faster. Last weekend showed it when I went into that 800m race with a completely different mindset knowing how fit I am and just getting myself in the right position to make something happen.
“That’s exactly what I did in the 800m and I got the result I was looking for. It wasn’t the time I really wanted, but tactically-wise it was, [even though] I was looking to still run a little faster time.”
Armstrong is among a trio of local athletes to have reached the Carifta Games qualifying standard so far, which also includes fellow middle distance runner Jaeda Grant and sprinter Caitlyn Bobb.
Grant has reached the qualifying standard in the girls under-17 1,500 metres and Bobb in the girls under-20 200m and 400m.
The 2022 Carifta Games will be held in Jamaica from April 16 to 18.